Try on the garment and determine where modifications need to be made. For me, the dress needed a little extra room in the hips and a little less room in the waist. I marked with a safety pin the widest part of my hips and narrowest part of my waist, then turned the garment inside out to work on the side seams. Using my tailor's chalk, I freehanded lines just outside the hip side seams, gently tapering to just inside the waist side seams. I didn't use any measurements for this project because I'm only working about 1/2 inch inside or outside the seams. Of course Bandit has to check out what I'm working on.
I stitched my new markings (blue line) on the machine and then cut open the side hip seams (just to where it met up with the waist seams that I took in). After that, I pressed my new seams. I also let out the seam just below the zipper (butt area) a little bit, as well.
I tried on the dress and decided the hips and waist side seams were good, but the fabric still bunched in my lower back area. I thought this might be an issue so I was prepared to freehand some back darts. Back to the tailor's chalk - again, I freehanded this as much as possible to prevent pulling out tons of sewing supplies and trying to get this done quickly. I folded the back darts in half and pinned.
I stitched the new back darts on the machine (two total) and pressed each towards the zipper.
I marked the hem (just above the knee) and hemmed by hand (see my hemming tutorial here). There is a pocket flap on the front of the dress and David helped me decide which vintage buttons to replace the dirty covered button. I sewed that on as a final step. My dad picked up most of these vintage buttons at an antique store.
That's all I did to the dress - here is a final picture.
See my Re-Vamping Vintage Series: